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July 13, 2012

Perfect Puree Picked A Penultimate Culinary Experience
By Francine Cohen

Consider this post part two of competitions you can win (though this one’s really a sweepstakes).

Why should enter if you’ve already put in a bid for another contest that’s open to the hospitality community? Well, because this one will stretch your culinary muscles, putting you in an unequaled environment (The Culinary Institute of America) where you’ll be immersed in the study of flavors from the Mediterranean to the Middle East and Asia and discover how they’re impacting menus around the country and in your backyard. Just think of what you can bring back to your bar or restaurant after exploring these flavors alongside of notable chefs and journalists at the CIA.

Plus, it’s a week in Napa.

Not to mention that, unlike in other competitions where you’re creating a menu item with a specific product – and being charming while presenting it – winning this trip of a lifetime doesn’t rely on your good looks at all. In fact, there’s no skill involved here, just sheer luck; so you’ve got as much a chance of winning as Continue Reading…



July 2, 2012

Because we’re gung-ho on competitions that aren’t just the same old same old, we’ve got two fun ones coming up for you.

Part I – Waterlogged
If you’re going to be in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail ( 10th anniversary installment of this memorable (well, most things you do you’ll want to remember) annual event, you’re going to want to stick around at least until midday on Sunday when Solerno unveils the Mr. Solerno Swimsuit Competition:This One’s for the Ladies. (

Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur just may have you blushing at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail and talking about the raucous event that will be sure to go down in Tales of the Cocktail history. Solerno has asked (ahem, yes, occasionally coerced) a group of the industry’s funniest, most outrageous and courageous male bartenders to battle it out in a competition that will combine quick wit, cocktail skills, costumes, shenanigans (perhaps a bit of interpretive dance?) and … yes …. your favorite boys in their bathing suits, naming one winner “Mr. Solerno 2012.”

The first annual “Mr. Solerno Swimsuit Competition!” will be hosted by your emcee for the day – Miss Jackie Patterson, the National Ambassador for Solerno on Sunday, July 29th from 12pm to 2pm at the Hotel Monteleone pool, as a precursor to the now legendary Milagro Pool Party.

Each gentleman competing will be coached and hosted by a proud “Pageant Mom.” The Pageant Mothers, likewise, are a collective of the industry’s best and brightest female bartenders. These ladies will coach their wards to rock the catwalk and answer the judges scintillating interview questions, while each Mama creates a Solerno-based, frozen blender cocktail. This is a poolside competition after all.

The judging panel consists of four of the industry’s most discerning minds in male physique and frozen blender mixology (Yeah, we have no idea what that means either. Just go with it) who will quiz, comment, sip, judge and ultimately add a few surprises of their own before determining a winner. This is an afternoon that promises to be filled with hard bodies, tan beer guts, frozen drinks, Solerno (obviously), a feather boa or 12 and an absurd amount of fun.

Don’t miss it!

To enter, follow this link
1. The team with the most “likes” on their entry is guaranteed a place in the competition.

2. Both competitors must already be attending Tales of the Cocktail 2012 in New Orleans and be present on Sunday, July 29th, 2012.

3. The frozen Solerno cocktail must contain no more than 7 ingredients, and may not include any homemade ingredients, that includes syrups, tinctures, bitters or liqueurs.

4. The frozen cocktail must contain at least 1 ounce of Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur.

5. When considering other ingredients for the frozen cocktail, please be mindful of the William Grant & Sons portfolio of premium spirits: Hendrick’s Gin, Milagro Tequila, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, Lillet, Tullamore Dew, Stolichnaya, Reyka Vodka, Art in the Age Liqueurs, Hudson Whiskey.

6. We are looking for the most delicious, frozen, Solerno focused, poolside beverage.

7. Please do not post any nude photographs, keep it classy my friends.

1.This Contest is organized and conducted by William Grant & Sons (“the Organiser”).

2.This contest commences at 3:00pm on 8 June 2012 and ends at 12:00am on 6 July 2012, running for a period of 5 weeks.

3. Participants will submit one photo & recipe.

4. Grand final judging will be announced the week of July 9th.

6. Eight people will be entitled to win once.

7.This contest is only open to all residents of The United States (“Eligible Entrants”). Employees and the immediate families of William Grant & Sons (“the Organiser”), are ineligible to enter or claim a reward.
Contest Prize

Conduct of This Contest
9. Winners are determined by Willima Grant & Son’s’s discretion (100%).

10. Winners will be notified on the Facebook wall.

11. The prize is non-refundable, non-transferable, and not exchangeable for cash, credit or any other item. All winners shall accept prizes as they are and subject to any terms and conditions to the prizes. William Grant & Son’s makes no representation, warranty or undertaking whatsoever as to any implied terms and conditions with respect to the prizes in this Contest. William Grant & Son’s assumes no liability or responsibility whatsoever in respect to defect or deficiency of the prizes or the nature/consumption of the prizes and will not entertain any direct correspondence with anyone in this regard.

12. Any prize not won or unclaimed by July 9th will be forfeited. The winner whose prize has been forfeited or unclaimed is not entitled to any payment or compensation from William Grant & Son’s not withstanding non-receipt of notification that he/she is a winner.

14. The decision of William Grant & Son’s on all matters relating to or in connection with this Contest (including selection of the winners) will be final and binding on all parties concerned.

15. William Grant & Son’s may, at any time at its sole discretion and without prior notice, vary, modify, delete or add to these Terms and Conditions and may also withdraw or discontinue this Contest at any time without notice or liability to any party.

16. William Grant & Sons shall not be responsible for any breaches of contract or any actions or omissions on the part of suppliers nor be liable in any way to any party for any loss or damage arising in connection with this Contest, for any reason whatsoever, including but not limited to any delay in processing of applications, error in computing, any breakdown or malfunction in any computer system or equipment and any notice which is misdirected or lost in post.

These Terms and Conditions are governed by USA law.



June 15, 2012

Introducing the Louis Royer “Force 53” VSOP Cognac Competition

Take a brand new look at cognac cocktails with Louis Royer “Force 53” VSOP Cognac.

Award-winning PR/event management agency, Hanna Lee Communications, seeks out the best new cocktail creations that harness Louis Royer “Force 53” VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac.

At 106 proof, this bold spirit, currently the highest proof Cognac available in the U.S., offers complexity and great finesse. Its strength enables Louis Royer “Force 53” VSOP Cognac to stand up to mixing in any cocktail and its versatility makes it a year-round favorite.

The grand prize is an educational trip to France to learn the intricacies of Louis Royer Cognac’s production in Jarnac, experience its Cognac heritage dating back to 1853, meet its fifth generation Master Selector and Master Distiller, as well as spend two nights in Paris to experience the City of Light’s sophisticated cocktail culture. Second and third place winners will each win a cash prize of $1,000.

• The cocktail must contain a minimum of 1 ½ oz of Louis Royer “Force 53” VSOP Cognac.
• Recipes should use a maximum of five (5) common ingredients, rather than those that are
obscure or homemade.
• If other hard spirits are included, they are limited to ½ oz.
• Techniques should likewise be straightforward to facilitate replication by home bartenders.
• All recipe ingredients are to use U.S. measurements.

A maximum of two (2) seasonally driven recipes, including cocktail names, a list of ingredients, preparation method, the seasonal inspiration behind each cocktail and cocktail photos should be uploaded at

May 2 to August 31, 2012

Louis Royer Cognac will assume ownership of all the submitted recipes and will credit its creator in all publicity (print, broadcast, online), social media platforms, as well as marketing materials.

Six finalists will compete in New York City on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at Rayuela Restaurant, 165 Allen St., between Stanton and Rivington Sts.

Please visit and
Follow us on Twitter: @hannaleenyc and @Force53cognac



May 24, 2012

International Women’s Day is celebrated with a wee dram once again
By Vincenza Di Maggio

Each year International Women’s Day is celebrated globally in various ways. In Italy and Russia men traditionally give women sprigs of bright yellow Mimosa blossoms to commemorate the holiday, and in China women are given the day off. Well, leave it up to New Yorkers to chicly celebrate the occasion by raising their glasses and toasting to the infinite past, present, and future accomplishments of women!

This year, at Julie Reiner’s Lani Kai cocktail lounge in SoHo, Compass Box Whisky Co, and Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails joined together for the third annual “Whisky and Women Unite” cocktail party. Women gathered at this spirited celebration to only to honor the occasion and raise money for Bottomless Closet, a non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged New York City women transform their lives by helping them to become self-sufficient and thus allowing them to succeed in the work place.

Abigail Gullo, a founding member of LUPEC shares, “The LUPEC Compass Box event for International Women’s Day has always been a favorite of mine because it’s an opportunity to work with such amazing and accomplished women. It inspires me to see women in this industry come together and celebrate not only our craft, but our desire to make a difference and make the world a better place for women everywhere. I am always honored to be a part of this event and look forward to it every year.”

The fact that it is even possible for this event to exist speaks volumes about how far women have come since 1911 when the holiday was first observed. John Glaser, renowned whiskey maker and founder of Compass Box Whisky Co, comments on the event, “I love this event and I am so proud that we sponsor it. It’s something that never would have happened even ten years ago in this industry: a Scotch whisky brand sponsoring a women’s event.”

In honor of the occasion New York City’s most talented female mixologists blended together six different deliciously refreshing cocktails using Compass Box Whisky’s newly produced Great King Street, a craft blended scotch whisky.

Among the group of skilled bar tenders who participated in the event was Meaghan Dorman, of Raines Law Room and Continue Reading…



March 30, 2012

The Ocho Tequila Competition is Back
By Francine Cohen

While the literal translation of sangrita is “little blood”, for many drinkers looking for a tequila accompaniment (or a morning after cure), sangrita is a delicious Mexican blood transfusion. The traditional Jaliscan partner to a fine Tequila, and a great palate reviver, is, in its most traditional form a recipe that calls for tomato juice, orange juice, lime juice, and a spicy element, either hot sauce or fresh or dried chilis.

Tequila Ocho and the Bon Vivants believe Sangrita is much more than that. For them Sangrita is a seamless blending of tart, sweet, spicy, and savory. They say, “When made with love, imagination, and paired with the right tequila, it becomes a ritual, and is a transcendent drink experience. We believe this pairing is the best way to enjoy Tequila Ocho.”

The brand and the gentlemen of Bon Vivants (and the lovely Ivy Mix) charge you with this exquisite task: Craft your finest, original, thought and palate provoking Sangrita to pair with one of the 3 Tequila Ocho expressions currently available in your market.

The guidelines: You are not restricted to the traditional recipes for Sangrita. Rather, we encourage you to think outside the box. Be innovative, while using the parameter of the collective, tart, sweet, spicy, and savory as your only guideline. Regional contests will be held this year in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and Boston with the finals being held in New Orleans. Use your imagination and technique, and you may find yourself as a regional finalist, or better, as a national finalist.

The prize: The VIVA SANGRITA! National Champion will be escorted south, to the highlands of Jalisco, to visit the home of Tequila Ocho and experience all this amazing spirit has to offer, in the place of its birth.

The fine print: PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR RECIPES TO – Submission deadline is 12am PST on April 7th 2012.



March 10, 2012

Great King Street Competition
By Vincenza Di Maggio

Photo by Clay Williams. Courtesy of Compass Box Whisky

Challenged with the task of creating enlightened whisky cocktails bartenders from Brooklyn and Manhattan went head to head in a cocktail competition featuring Great King Street, Compass Box Whisky’s versatile new blended range which challenges old school thinking that the only way to enjoy Scotch is sipping it neat from a rocks glass.

The deliciously diverse variety of recipes presented in the competition – such as Abigail Gullo’s cocktail the “Charlie Hustle” which incorporated rosemary-infused maple syrup, and Max Messier’s cocktail “Red Skies at Night” which included the use of winter spiced chai concentrate – demonstrated that the blend is indeed the most versatile style of Scotch whisky.

Compass Box Whisky company founder John Glaser once again defies traditional thinking about whisky; eschewing the thought that it should be drunk on its own. He fittingly named Great King Street for a street in New Town Edinburgh, Scotland whose Georgian neo-classical architecture expresses Continue Reading…



March 5, 2012

Celebrate International Women’s Day with Compass Box Whisky and LUPEC NYC and LUPEC SF

LUPEC NYC and LUPEC SF, the fine first ladies of liquor, know one thing for sure; whisky cocktails are a great way to celebrate achievements of women around the world. And there’s no better way to honor their accomplished sisters in arms who hit the mark with memorable “firsts” all the time than with whisky cocktails made with a brand new spirit – Compass Box Whisky Co.’s Great King Street – Artist’s Blend, a craft Blended Scotch Whisky that has a signature elegance and approachability for both whisky enthusiasts and novices. (

This Thursday in NYC and SF women (and men, too) will unite like their counterparts in countries such as Bulgaria, China, Russia, and Vietnam where International Women’s Day is a national holiday. They’ll lift a glass or two for International Women’s Day (IWD), a day to recognize the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

In NYC Compass Box Whisky Co, innovator and award-winning boutique Scotch whisky maker known for breaking down barriers in a once staid category and the NYC Chapter of Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC), announce their 3rd annual “Whisky & Women Unite” cocktail party to benefit Bottomless Closet NYC ( Bottomless Closet is a non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged NYC women become self-sufficient through comprehensive programming and support.

Don’t miss Thursday evening’s cocktail at industry luminary Julie Reiner’s tropical-influenced craft cocktail lounge in SOHO, Lani Kai ( The evening promises a menu of half price Continue Reading…



February 29, 2012

Contribute as Bullfrog & Baum Holds Charity Frog Race In Honor Of Leap Year

We’re rooting for The Arsonist on this one…

As its name suggests, hospitality industry powerhouse PR firm Bullfrog & Baum has a penchant for all things amphibian. So when Leap Year rolls around, its only right that the New York-based PR and marketing firm specializing in lifestyle clients should mark the day with something froggy.

Today at 3:00 p.m., four fabulous frogs will go to the mat at the Bullfrog & Baum offices on West 22nd Street, each representing an important food-focused charity – Share Our Strength, Citymeals-on-Wheels, Edible Schoolyard and City Harvest.

While each frog’s participation will raise funds for its respective charity – thanks to the support of four teams of Bullfrog & Baum PR pros – the winning frog will earn the extra bonus of having its total funds raised matched by the agency. Donations can be made through the fundraising

The competing frogs are:
“The Arsonist” – A Fire Belly Toad leaping for Share Our Strength:

“Beefsteak” – A Tomato Frog bounding for Citymeals-on-Wheels:

“PhilLeap” – A White Tree Frog jumping for Edible Schoolyard:

“Alistair Cummerbund Higginbottoms IV” – A Fancy Tree Frog hopping for City Harvest:

For more information on Bullfrog & Baum’s Leap Year Froggy Fundraiser, go to To watch the race as it streams live,

Note: No frogs will be harmed in the process of the fundraiser and all frogs will be re-adopted by our local pet store partner once the race is complete.

****We’re on Team Arsonist and hoping (or is that hopping) you’ll help us raise funds for Share Our Strength. Go frog, go!